Zomibes, werewolves and vampires are the last things you would expect to see on a network that brought you the likes of Jersey Shore, Beavis and Butthead, and Jackass. But with the popularity of “things that go bump in the night,” it’s hard not to jump on the supernatural bandwagon. First, MTV stepped into the supernatural genre with their teenage drama Teen Wolf. Now, playing to a slightly older and more…geeky generation, MTV has given us Death Valley.
California’s San Fernando Valley has been overrun by zombies, vampires and werewolves. Why? We don’t know and it doesn’t really matter. Death Valley is the story of the Undead Task Force (“UTF”), the police unit formed to handle the situation and keep things relatively under control. Shot in the style of Cops, Death Valley demolishes the fourth wall and puts the viewer in on the action.
The warning at the beginning tells of the violence and gore that’s coming but this isn’t torture porn. Sure it’s probably a little more gory than necessary at some points, but it’s so campy and over the top that it doesn’t become an issue. The gore is also not central to the storyline. Consider it a bloody accessory.
What separates Death Valley from other shows in the genre is that it’s funny. It’s not meant to be taken seriously. As serious as The Walking Dead is, Death Valley parallels in humor. The writing itself is hilarious, but what really brings this show to life is the actors. Leading the UTF is MAD TV alumni Bryan Callen as Captain Dashell. Callen’s perfect deadpan delivery of shockingly inappropriate comments alone is enough to make you shoot your drink out your nose. So I recommend not drinking while watching.
Partners Officer Joe Stubeck (Charlie Sanders) and Officer Billy Pierce (Bryce Johnson) are the perfect combination of stuffy play-by-the-rules cop and not-so-clueless wildcard. While Officer Carla Rinaldi (Tania Raymonde) and Officer John “John John” Johnson (Texas Battle) provide a little flirtation along with their strong partnership. Finally, there’s Officer Kirsten Landry (Caity Lotz), as the rookie of the force who proves to be not as goodie-goodie as everyone thinks she is.
Overall Death Valley is a hilarious and original take on the zombie/vampire trend. It’s a stand out show that combines everything fans love about the genre with a twist of realism and absurdity. It’s the one show on TV that will satisfy all of your zombie needs!
I give Death Valley five out of five gypsy wagons and cross my fingers for a season 2!
Death Valley airs on MTV Mondays at 10/9 central. You can watch full episodes online on MTV.com or download them from iTunes.